The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will go from being “awatchdog to a lapdog,” Commissioner John Hanger commented followingthe announcement the governor had chosen a staunch supporter ofPeco Energy, Chester, PA Mayor Aaron Wilson Jr. to replace Hanger.
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Producers predicting gloom and doom for gas supply based on 1997reserve replacement estimates are being way too pessimistic,according to Tom Woods, Ziff Energy Group vice president for U.S.gas services. He told attendees at GasMart/Power ’98 Wednesday inNew Orleans the reason gas prices have been so high is that themarket is spooked. “How much of what we are seeing is the substanceof what is occurring and how much of what we are seeing is reallythe form it is taking because of some change maybe in industrybooking practices? I would suggest to you that industry bookingpractices are beginning to resemble a more traditional inventoryapproach to life rather than the very long-term reserve toproduction ratios that we traditionally used to have in terms ofrecovery…”
Although often seen as effective vehicles for achievingcompetition, pilot programs also are being used as a “delayingtactic” by some natural gas and electric utilities that aren’tbullish on the idea of bringing customer choice to their markets, amarketing official charged last week.